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Shabu-Shabu Ichiban in Circuit, Makati

Do you want to know what being number 1 tastes like?

Dine at the newest Japanese restaurant in town, Shabu-Shabu Ichiban. Located in Circuit Lane, Circuit Makati is the famed shabushabu restaurant from Nagoya Japan. Ichiban literally means number 1, which they are, due to their fresh, all-you-can-eat, affordable hotpot.

Bringing in Japan’s ShabuShabu Ichiban is Mr. Avin Ong of Fredley Food and Beverages Inc., vowing to focus on the quality of meat and vegetables and of course the homey ambiance of an authentic Japanese restaurant.

We were one of the lucky people invited for the opening and of course, I just have to share about our whole experience.

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Set C Shabu Shabu Ichiban

The moment we came in, we were greeted by friendly servers and an unmistakable Japanese inspired interior. Light colored wooden tables with matching chairs are available in the middle of the restaurant with a single orchid centerpiece. If you want a more genuine feel, try tatami seating, sit on the mats paired with low tables. The ambience is completed with a red, white and black mural on one of its walls.

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Shabu-Shabu Ichiban Menu

Now that you have settled on where to sit, it’s time for the real work to begin.

When ordering your shabushabu, you need to know that you can actually choose to have a communal hotpot or a group table with individual solo bowls.

Communal hot pots are actually more common in most shabushabu restaurants as it can hold two flavors in one pot. On hot pot is good for 2-4 people.

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King Crabs

On the other hand, if all four of you have varied tastes, you can get a group table with solo bowls. This is our case for our visit so we decided to order 4 separate bowls.

Now why does this matter? Well, because choosing your soup base is the first of the three steps you need to do to enjoy your hotpot.

It so happens that ShabuShabu Ichiban has 24 stock options for your soup base. Now that’s a lot to choose from. The most common flavors are Konbu (seawood), Soy Milk, Spicy Miso, Spicy Szechuan, Red Hot Szechuan, Tonkotsu, Tonkotsu Soy, and Vegetable.

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I chose Spicy Szechuan with two chili peppers as my base.

As soon as you have decided your soup base, it’s time to choose your package. That is, what food you want to go along with the soup.

Set A is the basic set. If you don’t know what to get for the first time, this is your best bet. It’s authentic but not overwhelming and of course you get unlimited servings of vegetables and meat. Plus they serve it with one free fried chicken wing or a skewered bean paste flavored cutlet.

Set B is the basic set plus Endamame and Shrimp tempura. It also comes with one free fried chicken wing or a skewered bean paste flavored cutlet

Set C adds Beef Chuck sushi, sashimi and a fried ice cream on top of Set B staples.

Set D is unlimited of everything in Sets A to C PLUS King Crab Legs.

For our group we chose Set C and an ala carte order of King Crab Leg. Yum.

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The last step, eat your shabu-shabu. Enjoy the freshness of the vegetables and the high quality meat served to you by competent and ready-to-serve waiters.

It’s a feast so take your time when eating and may be you can hear the “shabushabu” every time you dip and “swish swish” your meat in the hotpot.

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ShabuShabu Ichiban also understands that not all kids appreciate vegetables and other things that goes into the hotpot. To include children and invite more families, they offer ala carte servings of fried chicken, flavored cutlet, king crab leg and fried ice cream.

Price per head starts at P488/588 on weekdays and P688 on weekdays and holidays. This is actually affordable for a restaurant that keeps on refilling your plate (as long as you want more).

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